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'Tamang panahon' for Vilma Santos to be National Artist — Dingdong Dantes

MANILA, Philippines — Actor and chairman of actors' collective Aktor PH Dingdong Dantes said it is the right time to honor veteran artist and "Star for All Seasons" Vilma Santos-Recto as a National Artist.

The group officially nominated Vilma for the recognition to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts ahead of the June 30 deadline through its executive secretary Vicki Dantes, Dingdong's sister.

Last June 28 in Manila Hotel, Dingdong read out Aktor PH's statement confirming its nomination for Vilma and giving the reasons why she should be considered, namely, her 60 decades in the entertainment industry, which she balanced with being a public servant in Batangas.

"The range of Vilma is unparalleled, 'yung kanyang mga portrayals bring truth and authenticity to the screen, captivating audiences — not just in her generation but across generations," Dingdong said, noting that her films like "Dekada '70" are taught in school.

He even said Vilma stood as a symbol of empowerment and resilience, embodying the strength and spirit of Filipino women by portraying their evolution.

Around 20 other groups joined Aktor PH in endorsing Vilma's nomination, including fan communities, as well as actors like Charo Santos-Concio, Alden Richards, Baron Geisler, Julie Ann San Jose, Rayver Cruz, Isko Moreno, Gabby Concepcion, and Tirso Cruz III.

Related:  Vilma Santos for National Artist: Aktor PH lists down reasons for nomination

In a video message, Isko — an actor-turned-politician like Vilma herself — said it was best to honor individuals while they were still alive.

Dingdong later shared that Aktor PH caught wind of a movement to nominate Vilma for National Artist during its second general meeting, leading to its first board resolution, which the actor said was the "easiest" one the group could have done.

"Yung impact ni Ate Vi is generational, across all season," Dingdong reiterated of his personal admiration for Vilma. "Equal 'yung pakiramdam mo sa kanya 10 years ago kumpara ngayon. Ito 'yung tamang panahon sa aking pananaw."

The actor admitted he has yet to talk to Vilma about Aktor PH pushing the nomination, this as she is one of its members and a part of its Board